Set in Lithia, a southern Oregon theater town (Ashland, thinly disguised), this series opener blends genre tradition with West Coast environmentalism.
Yes, it’s another paranormal romance—a human/vampire love triangle in a small town where not all the people are people—with a heroine who, though feistier than most, belongs to the Bella sisterhood. And yet—well-worn plot notwithstanding—the result feels fresh and original. Kat, homeless and on the run (from what, readers learn later), returns to Lithia, where her mother died years earlier, and is offered a job and housing by friendly locals. Running is Kat’s passion and coping mechanism; soon she’s running with her landlady, Stacey. Also taking an interest in Kat are Roman, the handsome actor playing Hamlet (a role that suits him), and attractive Alex, who works at the food co-op and, like Kat, is devoutly vegan. All is not well in Lithia, where runners occasionally turn up dead. When it’s Stacey, Kat feels responsible; they’d been separated on a run together.
Ringing changes on readers’ expectations, the pseudonymous author delivers plot twists with minimalist (for the genre) panache, producing a green parable infused with a rich sense of place: an organically grown confection. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)